Every jump, vault and sprint matters when you're looking to defend a national championship.
The Harper men, the defending NJCAA Division III national champions, as well as the women's track squad are already hard at work.
They recently took part in an indoor meet held at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., and earned six slots in the NJCAA national championship meet.
Jalen Griffin won the men's 55 meters in 6.65.
Jordan Wagner won the women's 400 meters in 63.23, qualifying her for nationals.
In two events Harper finished second: Terry Halloran finished just behind Griffin in the men's 55 meters, and in the 1,600 relay, cross country individual national champion Troy Cunningham was the anchor leg.
Bounced: A tough season came to an end for the Harper women's basketball team, which fell to Madison Area Technical College in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA Region IV tournament 71-60. The 11 point deficit was the smallest margin of victory for the Wolfpack in the three meetings between the teams this season.
The Hawks finished the season 10-14.
"We were agressively attacking them." Harper coach Nichole Jones said.
The Region IV leader in scoring and rebounding, Monica Hinderer of Harper, finished with 8 rebounds and scored 15 points despite battling the flu, according to Jones.
"To still come up with a game with 15 and 8 rebounds is incredible for a young player," Jones said.
Hinderer was the only Harper player named to the all-conference squad.
Freshman Nicole Soderholm (Buffalo Grove) led the Hawks with a team-high 21 points against Madison, and Rachel Payne had 7 assists.
• In both men's and women's basketball, Rock Valley ended up winning the Region IV tournaments hosted by Harper. Earlier this school year, the Golden Eagles had already claimed national titles in women's volleyball and tennis.